The management of Russia’s Avtotor Kaliningrad automobile plant has signed a plan to expand cooperation and localise the component base with BAIC, one of the largest state-owned automotive groups in China, Kallanish notes.   

The plan was signed during a working visit of the Avtotor management to China. As part of this plan, by the end of 2023, the plant in Kaliningrad will begin production of an innovative range of vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs) with improved design and improved technical parameters, the Chinese enterprise claims.  

In addition, Avtotor and BAIC will work together on a number of solutions to adapt the vehicle line to the needs of the Russian market. Also in 2023, the companies will start implementing a program for the localisation of auto components, including complex high-tech elements of a car.

In 2022, Avtotor said it plans to invest RUB 5.7 billion ($69.8 million) in the development of production capacities for the production of EVs.

The main gaol is to replace the stopped projects for the production of models of German BMW and South Korean Kia and Hyundai.

Last year, the company planned to complete the construction of eight plants for new electric mobility projects. In particular, the automaker wants to launch the production of electric motors for small and large cars, as well as the production of batteries together with Rosatom.

Earlier, the carmaker said it plans to produce 50,000-60,000 EVs annually. This year, Avtotor should supply at least 200 electric cars.

A full transition to electric vehicles is planned from 2024, and in four years the company intends to produce about 300,000 units.

Lithuania has enforced a ban on Russia-origin steel transiting across its territory by rail to the exclave of Kaliningrad, where Avtotor's base is, drawing the ire of Russia, which has threatened to retaliate.